Already dreaming of turkey, vinaigrette and green bean casserole?
Keep safety in mind on the way to the Thanksgiving Feast.
Whether you’re heading into town or out of state, remember the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s travel advice: Buckle Up — Every Trip. Everytime.
During the Thanksgiving holiday 2019, officially from 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 to 5:59 a.m. on Dec. 2, 279 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes nationwide. More than half of the people who died were not wearing seat belts.
The night is traditionally deadlier than the day in terms of seat belt use. Over Thanksgiving weekend 2019, 52% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in nighttime crashes were unbuckled, compared to 42% during the day.
Still not convinced?
Studies have shown that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front passengers by 45% and the risk of moderate to severe injury by 50%. For occupants of light trucks, this risk is reduced by 60%.
And when it comes to vehicle ejections – one of the most dangerous results of an accident – the statistics are even more startling. In 2019, 81% of occupants of passenger vehicles who were fully ejected from vehicles were killed. Only 1 percent of occupants using restraints were fully ejected, compared to 26 percent who were unbuckled.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts saved the lives of approximately 14,995 people aged 5 and older in 2017, according to the latest available data. But it could have been more – an additional 2,549 could have been saved if everyone had put on seat belts.
And don’t put your trust in an airbag alone to save you in a crash. Airbags are designed to work with seat belts, not as a substitute for them. If you are not wearing your seat belt, you could be thrown into a quick-release frontal airbag with enough force to injure or even kill you.
This Thanksgiving, do all you can to make sure you, your family, and those delicious leftovers get home safe.
Strap in on every trip. Everytime.
For more information on Ark-La-Tex’s ThinkFirst, visit www.thinkfirstlouisiana.org, call 318-226-0066 or visit www.facebook.com/arklatexthinkfirst or www.instagram.com/thinkfirst_arklatex .
This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: Travel safely over Thanksgiving weekend